Anyway! In the UK, typically, first-year undergraduate students live in halls of residence. These are known as dorms in the USA, I think. Modern-built ones are often en-suite (in which case this post doesn't really apply!) but traditionally, halls are a long corridor of single study rooms, often all with a sink, with a few bathrooms.
Some halls are catered, which means most of your food is prepared for you and you'll eat it in a cafeteria type room. Other halls are self-catered, which means you cook most of your food for yourself - these types of halls usually have better kitchen facilities. I'm going to do a post later on about what to take to uni to use in the kitchen, so I'll get more into that then!
I live in a flat in my halls of residence; there is a shared bathroom between 9 study bedrooms. One of the bedrooms has its own toilet and sink, and the rest of us all have sinks. In the shared bathroom there are two toilet cubicles (like the ones there are in schools etc) and two shower rooms, each with a proper shower tray cubicle in a little room - so there's total privacy and lots of space to change etc. That does vary from uni to uni though - my halls were refurbished a couple of years ago, so it's all still in fairly good nick.
My flat is mixed, but I know single-sex flats do exist, and I think in catered halls (which often have corridors as opposed to flats) single-sex corridors are fairly common. On my friend's staircase at Pembroke, Cambridge, each floor is single-sex, and then the showers at the bottom are shared between the 8 guys and 4 girls. It varies between unis and even within unis!
Because there are two showers (and I wouldn't trust people not to use my shower stuff) I have a small plastic basket that I take to and from the shower. Here it is:
I'm going to go clockwise from the top-left product.
I've been using this shower gel since the start of the academic year... it goes on forever! (NB: there have been weeks when I've only showered at the swimming pool, etc, so that has helped it last so long). I've realised that although it's lovely it's not a particularly revitalising fragrance, hence the presence of the other shower gel in the box, which I'll get to sooner or later. The pump lid is great, and when the product finally runs out I'll probaby use that on other S&G products without them. I use this for showers in the evening.
Mentioned in a haul here. I have to say I'm still not 100% sure of the benefits of using a shaving gel rather than just my shower gel - I guess the Aloe Vera helps the skin recover?
This is alright, I guess... not particularly special, and I probably won't repurchase it. I bought it when I was having major issues with the condition of my hair, and since I've managed to rectify that somewhat there isn't so much of a need for it. I'm using it as extra conditioner since the one that matches my shampoo is running out more quickly than the shampoo itself.
Soap & Glory Foam Call Bath and Shower Wash
I see the one of these sold for retail does have a pump lid - mine came in one of the Christmas gift sets. I really like this; I recently started using it in the mornings as I realised that it's much more of a waking-up scent than the Clean on Me. It's moisturising and it lathers a lot better than Clean on Me, and I love the scent! I think the scent on this one is slightly stronger, because I can actually smell it!
Bic Sensitive Twin Lady Sensitive Disposable Razor
I know, I know, pink razors are more expensive than the men's ones :(. Fairly standard product, it does the job... I used to use the razor that has a bikini trimmer on the other end but I didn't bring it to uni because of the noise the trimmer makes (once the button got pressed while it was in an overnight bag I was carrying on the Tube... so embarrassing) and also that the heads on that aren't so great for underarms, whereas these basic razors do everything you need them to do.
Boots Essentials Vent Brush (except mine is purple!)
Hairbrush... fairly standard... nothing to see here.
Pantene Repair & Protect Shampoo & Conditioner
I do like these - they really do the job! They're quite expensive, but there's often some kind of offer on. The only thing is that they're not particularly scented - I used to use Alberto Balsam, which the smell of would follow me around all day.
Soap & Glory Pulp Friction Foaming Fruity Body Scrub
I really like this product - the packaging is really helpful because unlike a scrub in a pot it doesn't get water and so on in it! It smells quite nice too :)
So there we go - that's what I have in my shower caddy! I will sometimes also have samples and so on in there that I want to use up. When you're choosing what to use for the basket itself, you want it to:
- be plastic
- let the contents air and dry out easily - so it needs to have big holes in the side
- not let little things like razors fall out - so it needs to have a solid base with a little rim.
My current internet picks are:
- Premier Housewares Plastic Storage Basket with Double Handle, 20 x 32 x 18 cm, White (though it may be a little big)
- Wilko Swirl Square Basket, Chrome (you'd have to make sure it didn't get rusty, and also be careful about not letting small things fall out)
- Storage Basket Assorted Medium x3 - This one is my favourite and also comes in other sizes.